CHEYENNE – On Monday, March 22, Bill Albrecht assumed the role of regional president for Adams Publishing Group’s Wyoming properties.
Albrecht and his wife, Lisa, are moving to Cheyenne from outside Cleveland, Ohio, where he served as regional vice president for Gannett’s Northern Ohio region (overseeing nine local print and digital operations).
Albrecht was raised near Sherrill, Iowa, a rural town of a few hundred people north of Dubuque. Although he’s never lived in Wyoming, Albrecht believes this background (and his love of pheasant hunting) will help him connect with residents.
“I grew up rural. I milked cows, and my brother ran a small implement dealership and construction company that I worked for in the summers,” he said. “I can fix a silo unloader, a chopper box … I can make a sidewalk for you.”
Prior to his recent years in Ohio, Albrecht worked throughout what he calls the “real Midwest,” in cities including Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Madison, Wisconsin; and St. Cloud, Minnesota. He’s also spent time living and working in South Dakota, where he obtained a degree in mass communications with an emphasis in public relations and advertising at the University of South Dakota.
Albrecht’s first job out of school was at a weekly newspaper in Harlan, Iowa. He worked in advertising sales, but if his ads were late, he had to design them himself, and he often helped with paper inserts and mailing.
“It was very much a situation where you got to learn how the operation, as a total, worked,” he said.
“And I think that has benefited me throughout my career, having some understanding and empathy for the production side, the pre-press side.”
In his latest role with Gannett, Albrecht most notably worked on content sharing, advertising cross sales and increasing carrier pay by combining routes.
As the new publisher of the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and its sister papers – the Laramie Boomerang, the Rawlins Times and the Rocket Miner – he plans to talk to as many people as possible to understand the personality and needs of southern Wyoming’s readers.
“I’m not coming in with any preconceived notion that I know what’s good for Cheyenne, and what’s good for the other operations, as well,” he said. “So I’ll be bringing what I can from other experiences, but also listening and figuring out what this community wants.”
Eric Johnston, president of APG’s Western Division, said Albrecht’s more than two decades of experience in the newspaper industry made him the ideal candidate.
“Bill comes to APG with an impressive background and history of local engagement as a community publisher,” Johnston said. “His leadership in Wyoming is sure to benefit both the company and the entire community.”
In previous cities he’s lived in, Albrecht has served on several nonprofit and Chamber of Commerce boards, and he plans to seek out similar volunteer opportunities in Cheyenne.
Albrecht – who’s also the father of two adult sons and about to become a first-time grandfather next month – views the move out West as an adventure, and he said he looks forward to visiting all the beautiful landscapes that Wyoming is known for.
He’s particularly excited to enjoy the nearby Rocky Mountains, even though he’s been intimidated by the altitude before.
“In 1983, the University of South Dakota Coyotes came out and played the Cowboys in football,” he said. “We lost, but the thing we all remember 35 years later is walking into the stadium and seeing the sign that says ‘Welcome to 7,220 feet.’”